Bridging Open Work Permit – Full Details

Bridging open work permits, also known as BOWP, is a thoughtful and considerable measure innovated by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

It aims to buy permanent resident applicants more time to gain the permanent residence status irrespective of whether their current work permit expires.

Some people successfully get a work permit to work legally. These people also apply for the permanent residence status to legally stay in Canada.

However, sometimes, due to several reasons, there might be a situation where their work permit might expire, and their application for permanent residence is not processed.

They get stuck; they neither have the legal right to work nor have the right to reside. That is where the benefit of the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) comes in.

It ‘bridges’ the lapse between the successful application for permanent residence and the expiration of a work permit, giving them the right to work. But, at the same time, they wait on the successful application for permanent residence.

Without the Bridging Open Work Permit program, most people would have been penalized for a situation they have no control over. 

Let us further discuss how to be beneficiaries of this program.

Read also:  Top Tips For IEC Work Permits To Canada

Eligibility Of Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

There are specific criteria that applicants must meet to ensure one is eligible to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). To be considered a qualified applicant, one must have used as a principal applicant in one of the following programs below:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Class
  • Agri-Food Pilot
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • The Caring for Children Class program
  • Quebec Skilled Worker
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • The Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class program

Applicants who apply via Express Entry-aligned streams or QSW should have passed the completeness check-in section R10. 

Applicants applying via non-Express Entry streams must receive a positive remark on their non-Express Entry APR to be eligible for the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) application.

Other criteria that you must meet include:

  • Applicants must be in Canada
  • Applicants must possess a valid temporary resident status and authorization to work when he has received a valid work permit.
  • Applicants must have applied for the renewal of their work permit to maintain their status and authorization to work.
  • On a work permit, applicants must be eligible to restore their temporary resident status with authorization to work.
  • Applicants must select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit they wish to apply for. 
  • Applicants must pay fees for processing their work permit and holding the Open Work Permit.

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) application will not be possible if the permanent resident application is not complete. Therefore, IRCC will halt the application and not refund the processing fees. 

The policy that applicants had to wait until their current work permit was within four months of expiration before applying is no longer in effect since 2021.

Bridging Open Work Permit Via Express Entry Program

Applicants must provide all essential needed documents when applicants apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit via Express Entry

Applicants are required to submit their Acknowledgment of Receipt letter. It is a letter that Express Entry applicants automatically receive when IRCC receives the application.

Applicants have no restrictions on employment location under the three federal programs under Express Entry which includes FSWC, CEC, or FSTC.

Bridging Open Work Permit For Quebec Applicants.

Immigrants of Quebec can apply and get a Bridging Open Work Permit. It has been effective since August 31, 2021. 

Many applicants apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit via Quebec’s immigration programs. To get the Bridging Open Work Permit, they must meet the following criteria:

Applicants must have submitted a permanent residence application as the principal applicant and as a skilled worker in Quebec to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Applicants must have an acknowledgment of receipt confirming that the federal government has received this permanent residence application and that it is complete.

The spouse or common-law partner of the applicant can also obtain a Bridging Open Work Permit, regardless of the principal applicant’s skill level in their profession.

Read also: Documents Needed for Your IEC Work Permit Application

Bridging Open Work Permit Via PNP

Applicants who applied for Bridging Open Work Permit via PNP Program must not have employment restrictions in their nomination. 

However, they will restrict their employment location to the nominating province.

Bridging Open Work Permit Via Non-Express Entry Program

When an applicant applies for a Non-Express Entry, they receive their Acknowledgement of Receipt letter after verification from IRCC that the application is complete.

Spouses/Common-Law Partners Of BOWP Applicants

Suppose a Bridging Open Work Permit applicant has a spouse or common-law partner. In that case, they may also be eligible to obtain a work permit in Canada, provided they meet the criteria. The spouse or common-law partner may apply simultaneously with the principal applicant.

However, they should meet the following criteria:

  • In all cases, the Bridging Open Work Permit must be valid for longer than six months.
  • For spouses/common-law partners of FSWC applicants, the work permit holder must be performing work that is considered skilled (i.e. that falls within National Occupational Classification [NOC] skill levels 0, A, or B).
  • For spouses/common-law partners of PNP applicants, the spouse/common-law partner is eligible for a work permit for the duration of the work permit held by the principal PNP applicant, irrespective of the skill level of the principal PNP applicant’s occupation.
  • For spouses/common-law partners of FSTC applicants, the Bridging Open Work Permit holder must be performing work that falls within NOC skill level B.
  • For spouses/common-law partners of CEC applicants, there are no set prerequisites to be met by the principal CEC applicant concerning occupation skill level.

Apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit

Applicants can apply online for a Bridging Open Work Permit.

When you apply, you must select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit when you complete your work permit application and pay the work permit processing fee and the Open Work Permit Holder fee.

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